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Miles Davis recordings in 1946 with the Benny Carter orchestra

Another recording session with the Benny Carter Orchestra.

This is usually dated as August 1946, New York. But we'll see that this information can't be correct.

Our sources are from Benny Carter and his Orchestra - 1946-1948 (1999) {Chronological 1043}, where we find the following informations about the involved musicians:

Benny Carter (alto sax), Paul Cohen - Ira Pettiford - Walter Williams (trumpet), Al Grey - Candy Ross (trombone), Bump Meyers (tenor sax), Williard Brown (alto and baritone sax), Sonny White (piano), James Cannady (guitar), Thomas Moultrie (bass), Percy Brice (drums), Lucy Elliot (vocal)

And here is track listing:

- Re-Bop Boogie (De Luxe 1044)

- Twelve O'Clock Jump (De Luxe 1041)

- Let Your Conscience Tells You So (De Luxe 1041)

- Mexican Hat Dance (De Luxe 1044)

Re-Bop Boogie

Here we recognize trombonist; this is his solo

and this is Al Grey on Just You, Just Me, Los Angeles, on March 31, 1946, where he ends his solo
in a way very similar to what he plays on Re-Bop Boogie
: just the same phrase, transposed

Twelve O'Clock Jump

Here we recognize pianist; this is his short solo

and this is the end of Sonny White solo on Just You, Just Me, Los Angeles, on March 31, 1946

He's definitely the same player: let's just compare the way he plays on Twelve O'Clock Jump

with this phrase from Just You, Just Me

Your Conscience Tells You So

Let's listen now to vocal chorus by Lucy Elliott of this nice songs, on a standard A-A-B-A 32 bars form mostly on C major


At the end of vocal chorus we hear a modulation to F major, and there is an arrangement on the A-A sections of A-A-B-A form with a trumpet solo played on bars 5-8 and 13-16

; this is Miles Davis: nobody plays triplets that way
and this is Billie's Bounce take 1 with C. Parker
, recorded for Savoy on November 26, 1945.

And this could be enough, but there is strong evidence in this phrase

which is very very similar to what Miles played on Billie's Bounce, take 1

And in Billie's Bounce, take 3, again we find

which is very similar to this
from Your Conscience Tells You So.

More, if we listen carefully to Miles solo in the other complete take, Billie's Bounce, take 5, during first chorus we find interesting phrases with smart triplets like

which sound very similar to fragments from Your Conscience Tells You So like this one
and if we transpose an octave upper the opening phrase of second shorus on take 5
we' ll find out something very similar to this phrase from Your Conscience Tells You So

Even in a live version of Billie's Bounce, at the Finale Club in Los Angeles, on March 1946, we find this phrase

which sounds much similar to this from Your Conscience Tells You So

Mexican Hat Dance

Here we recognize tenor saxophonist; this is his solo

and this is Bumps Myers on Just You, Just Me
, in Los Angeles, on March 31, 1946.

He's indeed the same player; just compare this fragment from Mexican Hat Dance

with this from Just You, Just Me

I've discussed the dating of this session with Peter Losin, author of miles ahead, the most accurate and comprehensive Miles Davis discography.

He says:

"Miles stayed in Los Angeles after leaving Benny Carter in April-May.

He was at the Finale Club and elsewhere with Bird, then when Bird was sent to Camarillo in late July, Miles played in Lucky Thompson's band (and he lived with Thompson while this was happening).

When Billy Eckstine's band arrived in Los Angeles in early September, Eckstine recruited Miles to take Fats Navarro's place.

They recorded in Los Angeles in early October, and then the band worked its way back east.

By Christmas they were back in New York."

So this recording must be dated much earlier than August, rather on March-April 1946, as band membership also suggests.

And near Los Angeles or somewhere else on the west coast rather than in New York.

List of referenced discography:

- Benny Carter and his Orchestra - 1946-1948 (1999) {Chronological 1043}

- Charlie Parker: At the Finale Club & More

- Charlie Parker: The Complete Savoy & Dial Sessions

Complete transcriptions of referenced Miles Davis solos are available on themusicofmiles

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